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Federal Income Tax Filing Deadline Approaching

The federal income tax filing deadline for most individuals is Monday, April 15, 2019. Need more time? If you're not able to file your federal income tax return by the due date, you can file for an extension using IRS Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. Filing this extension gives you an additional six months (until October 15, 2019) to file your federal income tax return. You can also file for an automatic six-month extension electronically (details on how to do so can be found in the Form 4868 instructions). Special rules apply if...

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Recruit and Retain: The Power of Voluntary Benefits

As health care costs continue to rise, so has the value of voluntary benefits. Voluntary benefits allow employers to offer benefits that are attractive to employees without added cost to the company. Many employers consider expanding their voluntary benefits to compensate for employees’ increasing health care costs. Employees benefit because they have a variety of insurance and other program options conveniently available in one place. Types of Voluntary Benefits A few traditional voluntary offerings include dental, vision, disability, critical illness, life and accident insurance. Non-traditional voluntary benefits may include group legal plans, pet insurance, financial planning, employee discount programs, educational and adoption assistance,...

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Deadline Extended for EEO-1 Filing to May 31, 2019

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has extended the deadline for employers to submit EEO-1 Reports for 2018. The reports are now due by May 31, 2019.   What is the EEO-1 Report? The EEO-1 Report is a federally mandated survey that collects workforce data from employers. The data is categorized by race, ethnicity, sex and job category. The EEOC uses this information to enforce federal prohibitions against employment discrimination and discriminatory pay practices.   The EEO-1 Report is an annual survey required under Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act (Title VII). Under the law, employers with 100 or more employees and...

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Small Businesses May Be Able to Keep Existing Non-ACA Compliant Health Coverage Through 2020

Policies Renewed Under Extended Non-Enforcement Policy Must Comply by January 1, 2021 A previously extended non-enforcement policy which allows health insurance issuers, at their option, to continue group coverage that would otherwise be terminated or cancelled has been further extended to policy years beginning on or before October 1, 2020, provided that all policies come into compliance by January 1, 2021. Health insurance issuers that renew coverage under the extended non-enforcement policy are required to provide standard notices to affected small businesses for each policy year. Coverage subject to the non-enforcement policy will not be considered to be out of compliance with...

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There’s Still Time to Contribute to an IRA for 2018

Even though tax filing season is nearing the end, there's still time to make a regular IRA contribution for 2018. You have until your tax return due date (not including extensions) to contribute up to $5,500 for 2018 ($6,500 if you were age 50 or older on December 31, 2018). For most taxpayers, the contribution deadline for 2018 is April 15, 2019 (April 17 for taxpayers who live in Maine or Massachusetts). You can contribute to a traditional IRA, a Roth IRA, or both, as long as your total contributions don't exceed the annual limit (or, if less, 100% of your...

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Retirement Savings Contributions Credit (Saver’s Tax Credit)

Employers and plan sponsors can give their low- and moderate-wage workers some good news by informing them of the Saver’s Credit. This federal income tax credit was made permanent in the Pension Protection Act of 2006. To be eligible, a person must: be 18 years of age or older not be a full-time student not be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s return make contributions to a qualified IRA, 401(k) or other eligible retirement plan meet certain financial criteria, as described below Depending on adjusted gross income, a participant may receive a tax credit equal to 10, 20 or 50%...

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Finding the Funds to Pay for a College Education

Finding the funds to pay for your child's college education is like filling a test tube. The length of the tube represents the cost of education at any one school--tuition, fees, books, room and board, transportation, and personal expenses. The first ingredient is what you'll have to contribute from your own pocket: the expected family contribution (EFC), which is determined by the federal government's financial aid formula. This can come from savings and/or loans. Your EFC is the same regardless of the college your child chooses. The difference between your EFC and the cost of a particular college equals your child's financial...

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Positioning Your Income and Assets to Enhance Financial Aid Eligibility

There are a number of strategies you can implement to try to enhance the amount of federal financial aid your child receives. These strategies take advantage of the federal rules about which family income and assets are counted in determining your family's expected family contribution (EFC). Note:  The FAFSA relies on current asset information but income information from two years prior, which is referred to as the "base year" (e.g., the 2018/19 FAFSA relies on your 2016 tax return; 2016 is the base year). Strategies to reduce income Time the receipt of discretionary income to avoid the base year Pay all federal...

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ABCs of Financial Aid

These days, it's hard to talk about college without mentioning financial aid. Yet this pairing isn't a marriage of love, but one of necessity. In many cases, financial aid may be the deciding factor in whether your child attends the college of his or her choice, or even attends college at all. That's why it's important to develop a basic understanding of financial aid before your child applies to college. Here are some basics to help you get started. What is financial aid? Financial aid is money distributed primarily by the federal government and colleges in the form of loans, grants, scholarships,...

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